The first kind of education is related to the Enlightenment; the highest goal in life is to inquire and create, search the riches of the past, try to internalise and carry the quest. Von Humboldt, a founder of classical liberalism, viewed education as a matter of laying out a string along which children will develop in their own way. The teacher’s role is to guide.
The curriculum is designed to produce free-thinking individuals who will apply critical thinking and reason in either a professional or a personal capacity. No student is expected to become an expert in a particular field, but will develop that ineffable capacity to reason. The ultimate goal is to allow students to become erudite adults that are capable of producing abstract ideas, theories and cultural capital in philosophy, literary criticism, sociology, law, medicine or science.
Key Stage 3 takes a broad approach to the study of religion, secularism and philosophy as separate entities as well as their overlapping consensus and divergence. Dealing with conceptual and applied ideas, the aim is to expose students to an array of religious beliefs, meta-ethical theories and applied dialectics. The first term of Year 7 is crucial in achieving this. The entire curriculum has been revamped so that the building blocks of critical thinking and reasoning are developed lesson-by-lesson. This is a foundation period that through the use of familiar religious texts a thematic approach develops these skills. From there each topic is scaffolded to build on prior knowledge and develop the skills further.
Formal logic is at the forefront of our teaching, where the avoidance of informal logical fallacies and the weakness of inductive reasoning are identified and eradicated. This is a demanding process that slowly develops an intellectual curiosity and capacity to identify and question seemingly obvious and unchallenged attitudes. By Key Stage 4 our students are better prepared for the rigours of the requirements of GCSE. Many students choose to develop their skills further in Key Stage 5 where they acquire new knowledge in the field of academic philosophy. Whilst this is a propaedeutic study, it is nevertheless an opportunity to acquire a meaningful understanding of ideas. In doing so, our students achieve an insight beyond the prosaic. Once students can converse confidently in areas the average person would not even consider, let alone resolve, they are ready to ascend to Promethean heights.
Here you can find the curriculum maps for Religious Studies for the academic year 2019-20. This is subject to change as we move through the year, especially the Year 11 section. As we approach the final exams the topics revised will be based on the needs of the students and therefore cannot be set at this stage.
Key Stage 3
- Phenomenology, proto-religion and Christianity
- Philosophy (Rousseau, Locke, Nietzsche)
- Nature of belief (teleology, theism, ontology, reductive theories)
- Human rights
- Conspiracy theories
- Philosophy (ontology, deontology, consequentialism, existentialism)
- Law and political religion
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 5
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